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January 30, 2020
Maybe you’ve got some experience in the building industry. Maybe you’ve got lots of it. Maybe you’re super keen about helping people have cost-effective, healthy housing. Maybe you’re searching around for an interesting career that gives you a strong foothold in residential construction and renovation.
There are 200,000 to 250,000 new houses built every year in Canada
The home renovation industry accounts for more than $70 billion annually.
The new construction and renovation industry provides a job for roughly 1 in every 18 workers. It’s one of Canada’s largest employers.
New building code requirements, like the BC Energy Step Code, and upcoming National Building Code changes are leaning more to performance paths vs. prescription paths.
With the adoption of the Pan-Canadian Strategy for Climate Change, more government funding has been set aside for renovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
More jurisdictions are adopting building code requirements that include energy efficiency measures. New home and retrofit programs that are built around reducing energy consumption and/or greenhouse gas emissions in Canada rely on energy evaluations carried out by registered Energy Advisors.
And there is a gap to be filled.
What Does an Energy Advisor Do?
An Energy Advisor (EA) is a licensed professional who provides technical services like energy modelling, blower door testing, and third-party verification to a range of programs:
ENERGY STAR for New Homes®
Net Zero Homes®
Built Green Canada®
BC Energy Step Code
Energy Modeling for Code Compliance
As an Energy Advisor you work with home buyers, builders and renovators to:
Assess materials and building assemblies for energy efficiency and a healthy indoor environment
Analyse the performance of the building envelope and mechanical systems
For new homes, provide a pre-construction energy evaluation and performance testing
For existing homes, provide suggestions to improve the energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
For new and existing homes, provide third party verification and inspection, a final report and an EnerGuide rating
Who Can Be An Energy Advisor?
You need to know a lot about houses to be a competent EA. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) have created a three-step entry program for EA candidates. You must:
Pass the Foundation Level exam
Pass Energy Advisor exam
Be affiliated with a service organization
Before you can even be considered for basic EA training, you must pass a Foundation exam. The Energy Advisor exam requires you to have specialized training in the EnerGuide for Houses service. You can find out everything need to know about the process of becoming an Energy Advisor here.
NRCan has a partner, Yardstick, who delivers both of the exams. They also offer some practice questions and tutorials on their exam registration site. Register here.
The Foundation exam covers the following topics:
Construction & Renovation of Low-Rise Housing
Building Envelope (New and Existing Homes)
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (New and Existing Homes)
Building Science Principles and the House-as-a-System Concept
Construction Site Safety
This is where your background in residential construction is helpful, but it’s likely to not be enough. You’ll probably have some gaps in your knowledge. Download our course booklet to find out more.
The Foundation exam is tough -- so tough that the current failure rate is somewhere around 80%. It costs $160 + HST each time you attempt the exam.
Blue House Energy and the Energy Advisor Foundation Exam
We know what it takes to be an Energy Advisor in Canada. BHE CEO, Shawna Henderson, was an R-2000 evaluator, starting in the early 1990s, and was one of the first Energy Advisors for Existing Houses in the country. Everything we produce for our training is based on CHBA’s educational benchmarks and Shawna’s’ training and experience an Energy Advisor, as well as her ongoing work in the field. She is currently the Professional Development Committee chair for CHBA-NS, and is the chair of CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Renovation Working Group. In addition, she participates in two industry working groups led by Natural Resources Canada, and sits on the board of the Atlantic Canada Home Construction and Renovation Sector Council.
Basically, she eats, breathes, and sleeps building science and houses.
Which means, Blue House Energy has a start-to-finish solution.
Take our online EA Foundation Training Bundle. There are 5 courses in the bundle:
Improving Building Performance
These courses are offered as on-demand learning, meaning you set the pace according to your schedule. We've designed it for busy people, and you can get through most topics in 10 -15 minute sessions. Ready? Buy the bundle now!
In Spring 2020, we will be offering two more options for you: a 'smarty pants' version for those who just need some brushing up, and a 'coaching' version that comes with more support than the on-demand version.
Interested in finding out more? Fill out this form and our program coordinator, Carla, will give you a call.
Once you've passed the Foundation exam, you're ready to get to the nuts and bolts of the Energy Advisor training with our online Mentorship Program. It's a combination of on-demand online training, field training, and real-time coaching from a qualified EA anywhere in Canada. Registration is limited. Apply now!
You can take one or the other program with us, or get a great deal on both.